MLK’s Daughter Says We Must Remember Her Mother’s Legacy, Too

Bernice King says those honoring her father on Martin Luther King Jr. Day should also remember another incredibly important figure in the civil rights movement: her mother, Coretta Scott King.

“Without #CorettaScottKing, there would be no #MLKDay,” Bernice tweeted Monday.

Martin Luther King Jr. may be the United States’ most well-known civil rights activist of all time, but there’s no denying that his wife was a hero in her own right.

Scott King, born and raised in Marion, Alabama, graduated from high school as valedictorian in 1945. She had been studying singing at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston when she met her future husband in the early 1950s.

After the two were married in 1953, they moved to Montgomery, Alabama, and had four children. Scott King devoted much of her time to raising their children during King’s career as a pastor and activist, though she would often speak about civil rights at churches, colleges and other organizations.

Two months after her husband was assassinated in 1968, Scott King founded The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, a 23-acre national historic park in Atlanta that includes King’s birthplace and hosts over 1 million visitors a year, according to the center’s website.

We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. Coretta King Scott

After fighting to make her husband’s birthday a federal holiday for nearly two decades, Scott King oversaw the first nationally observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20, 1986.

“This holiday honors the courage of a man who endured harassment, threats and beatings, and even bombings,” she wrote in an essay for The King Center. “We commemorate the man who went to jail 29 times to achieve freedom for others, and who knew he would pay the ultimate price for his leadership, but kept on marching and protesting and organizing anyway.”

Scott King continued to make history throughout her life. She was…

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